Van Hollen, Young Introduce Legislation to Preserve Limits on Russia’s Strategic Nuclear Arsenal
U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) have introduced bipartisan legislation urging the Trump Administration to maintain limits on Russia’s strategic nuclear arms. The Senators’ legislation calls for extending the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) until 2026, which would preserve crucial caps on Russia’s nuclear capabilities, unless Russia violates the Treaty or until a sufficient new agreement is in place. The New START Treaty was signed in 2010, and has since provided stability, predictability, and critical intelligence insights over more than ninety percent of the world’s nuclear weapons. New START – which is set to expire in 2021 – will be the only remaining nuclear arms treaty between the U.S. and Russia, following the imminent dissolution of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty on Friday.
“Now more than ever we must preserve effective, verifiable limits on Russia’s nuclear arsenal. The New START Treaty has succeeded in doing that over the last nine years and abandoning it would undercut national security and the security of our allies.” said Senator Van Hollen who also led a letter on this issue in April. “I will continue to work towards curbing nuclear tensions around the world and keeping Russia’s nuclear arsenal in check.”
“Senator Lugar championed the New START Treaty as a means for keeping Russia’s nuclear weapons ambitions in check,” said Senator Young. “This treaty is set to expire in 2021, and as renewing this treaty is debated, we must approach the decision with our eyes wide open to how the threats from nuclear weapons have evolved since the first New START. Whether repeated Russian violations or China’s ambitions, it is vital for our intelligence community to conduct thorough assessments to ensure arms control efforts are effective. I’m glad to join Senator Van Hollen in this bipartisan push to continue Senator Lugar’s work and curb the threat of nuclear weapons from countries like Russia for years to come.”
Text of the legislation can be found here.
Companion legislation to this bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressmen Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Representative Michael McCaul, the Committee’s ranking member.
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